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Meramec Professors Participate in Faculty Exchange With China

June 26, 2012

Dirk Voss and Joe Chesla  
STLCC-Meramec professors Dirk Voss, left, and Joe

Meramec professors Joe Chesla, sculpture, and K. Dirk Voss, history, recently took part in a short-term faculty exchange teaching program at Hunan Normal University in Changsha, Hunan Province.

The three-week program, which includes two weeks of lecturing and one week of cultural immersion, is made possible through St. Louis Community College’s membership in the Missouri Consortium for Global Education.

“The history students were amazing,” said Voss. “Most of them followed the English-language lectures, stayed focused for two hours, and asked specific and relevant questions. Rarely did they need the help of the translator.”   

Chesla was impressed by the collegial cordiality of his colleagues and the art students.

“They invited me to visit their studios and opened their classrooms for some practical demonstrations, as well as engaged in lively discussions at my lectures,” Chesla said.  

The host university organized trips to relevant local attractions such as the 1,000-year-old Yuelu Academy, which is the foundation of today’s Hunan University, and an awe-inspiring exhibit of a 2,200 year-old tomb.  

“Most impressive was the enormous modernization throughout the country,” Voss said. “No current country is changing at such a pace and extent.”   

Both professors are currently writing reports on their academic and cultural experiences. Voss will submit a presentation on his experience for the annual Missouri Community College Association Convention in the fall.